It can sometimes be hard to find the inspiration to take your camera out of its bag and in some ways it may be compared to writer’s block.
Each photographer is unique and that means different things inspire and motivate them. If you’re in a bit of a rut, here are a few photography ideas you may want to try out to help yourself get over it.
Photo by byronv2
Shoot with fixed focal lengths
This can be an interesting project because you select a specific focal length and shoot all of your photos in one session with it.
Since you won’t be using a zoom lens it will get you thinking a little more about the photo’s composition.
You may want to try a focal length that you don’t normally use and try it out for a week or so. For example, only shooting wide angle 18mm shots. You’ll be surprised just how fun and creative you’ll become using this shooting idea in photography.
Of course, if you don’t own a prime lens you can still use a zoom lens for this as long as you stick to the same focal length (aka, don’t touch the zoom ring!)
Another related idea is to try out a lens that you’ve never used before or rarely use. You could perhaps trade lenses with a fellow photographer for a week or rent one from websites such as BorrowLenses.com.
Shoot with one aperture
Experiment with a specific aperture (f-stop setting) for one week, perhaps the opposite of what you’re used to and compare the results.
The camera’s aperture settings will affect the depth of field in the shots. The depth is narrower when the aperture number is smaller and opened more, allowing more light to reach the camera’s sensor (ex. f/2). The reverse is true for a larger aperture setting (ex. f/18).
Experiment with shutter speeds
If you’d like to try something else new you could also select one specific shutter speed for a week and challenge yourself to taking photos only at this speed.
A variation of this photography idea is to select a different speed for each day of the week and have some fun that way.
Less is More
Many photographers have become so used to the digital age that they shoot dozens of photos for simple scenes.
For example, they may take 20 or 30 photos of London’s Tower Bridge. But this usually isn’t necessary since the bridge is basically standing still most of the time.
There’s no harm in this since it doesn’t cost a penny, but it does fill up the camera’s hard drive more quickly. Some people take so many shots as they figure one of them will turn out well. But it can make them lazy at the same time as they’re going for quantity rather than quality.
Just for a challenge, try this idea to get out of a photography rut. Restrict yourself to a specific number of shots while on a shoot. Perhaps 36 would be a good number since this is how many frames are usually on a roll of film.
This one lesson alone will really help train you to become a better photographer.
Turn off the preview/review
When using a digital camera we can see the results almost instantly. However, this could also make photographers a little lazy.
In addition, many people are busy looking at the scene on the screen of the camera rather than the actual image they’re shooting.
For something a little different try turning the LCD screen off if it’s possible and do some experimenting.
Again; we’re back to the lazy aspect of photography.
If you’re used to using the camera’s auto focus mode you may want to consider shunning it for a while and sticking to the manual focus option.
Instead of relying on the auto focal points, you’ll be paying more attention to your focusing duties. You’ll need to slow down a little and this will give you more time to think about what you’re doing and to try a little creativity.
We hope you enjoyed these ideas on breaking out of a photography rut. Now that you’re finished reading, leave a comment below telling us which tip was your favorite and share which tip you’ll be trying out first.
Then, check out our related posts to learn even more ways to improve your photography.